Billed as one of the finest meteorites in private hands, the heart-shaped specimen will be auctioned off on Valentine's Day.
Photo: Christie's

Christie’s Will Auction Heart-Shaped Meteorite on Valentine’s Day

The meteorite crashed to Earth as part of a major meteor shower in 1947

Christie’s has an otherworldly idea for a Valentine’s Day gift—a heart-shaped meteorite.

Billed as one of the finest meteorites in private hands and dubbed “The Heart of Space,” the object crashed to Earth on February 12, 1947, landing in Siberia’s Sikhote-Alin Mountains. According to Christie’s, the meteorite once belonged to a colossal mass of iron that split from the asteroid belt some 320 million years ago. The shower that brought the heart-shaped meteorite to Earth was one of the biggest of the past several thousand years, according to the auction house.

The meteorite is said to be one of the finest in private hands. Bidding for the item will open on February 6 and finish on Valentine’s Day. Photo: Christie's

The event was so powerful that windows were shattered and trees were uprooted by the sheer force of the shockwaves. It’s said that sonic booms reverberated nearly 200 miles away and that a 20-mile smoke trail stayed in the sky for several hours. Meteorites that split apart from the main body produced almost 200 craters, some up to 85 feet wide, the auction house said on its website.

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A famous painting of the event by artist and eyewitness P. I. Medvedev was reproduced as a postage stamp issued by the Soviet government in 1957 to commemorate what many in the region had interpreted as the end of the world.

Artist P. I. Medvedev was an eyewitness to the meteor shower, and his painting of the event was reproduced on a Soviet postage stamp. Photo: Christie's

The meteorite is considered to be one of the finest remaining specimens from the Sikhote-Alin shower. Bidding on the item, which was obtained from New York’s Macovich Collection of Meteorites, will begin on February 6 and will close, aptly, on February 14. The auction house expects the one-of-a-kind object to sell for somewhere between $300,000 and $500,000.


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